Last Updated on December 22, 2022 by Griselda M.
Learning how to get seeds from pampas grass is beneficial in helping you save seeds for future planting or selling of this ornamental grass.
Pampas grass is popular among American gardeners even though it’s quite invasive. It produces thousands of seeds at the end of its growing season. These seeds are carried away by strong winds over lengthy distances.
Pampas grass must be watched! Once it establishes itself, it takes over an area within a short season. Prudent gardeners can keep it under control with some maintenance.
Ornamental grasses are an excellent addition to landscape borders and flower beds. Their carefree growth encourages many gardeners to grow it where they need a beautiful soil cover.
Growing Pampas Grass
Pampas grass is beautiful and complements other plants in your garden. This ornamental grass makes fantastic filler for parts of the garden that may look empty.
Pampas grass is easy to grow because all it needs to thrive is a sunny growing area and fertile soil. Plant your grass in early spring to give it the best season to start growing. Fall or winter is not a good season because they impede its growth.
Growing Pampas Grass Requires a Long Term Commitment
If you choose to grow pampas grass, you need to be committed to giving it regular yearly maintenance. Pampas grass is hard to get rid of once you have planted it. The decision to grow this ornamental grass must not be taken lightly without being well-informed.
Maintenance is vital in growing pampas grass. If you neglect it, it will run rampant across your garden overwhelming other plants and destroying what you have worked hard to grow.
Check out this Quick Guide On How To Plant Forget-Me-Not Seeds
How to Harvest Seeds from Pampas Grass
The most rewarding aspects of gardening are being able to harvest your seeds and propagate new plants in your garden. This cost-effective and affordable approach helps gardeners can create more beautiful gardens with tight budgets. They can also share or exchange seeds with other gardeners making gardening a friendlier affair.
How to get seeds from pampas grass is as simple as harvesting seeds from other plants. Some ornamental grasses readily spread and reseed in the garden but other varieties may need help. Also if you need to collect seeds for future planting or selling, you will need to harvest them yourself. It takes a lot of patience to collect pampas grass seeds.
Before you begin collecting ornamental grass seeds, there are a few considerations you should make.
- You must establish if the plant is a hybrid or open-pollinated type of grass.
- Allow the seeds developing along the seed head to mature fully before removing them. This will help you harvest good quality seeds that you can store for longer.
- Do not leave your seeds for too long before you harvest. Once they mature, remove them immediately. Leaving them for too long will lead o the seeds dropping to the ground or being eaten by insects and birds.
How to Store Harvested Pampas Grass Seeds
Once you have picked your mature seeds, allow the seed heads to dry for 1-2 days after removing them. Allowing the seeds to dry further eliminates mold and rotting which occurs if the seed is stored damp.
Because the seeds will be mixed with chaff, gently blow it away using a small fan. Do not blow away the seeds, be very gentle as you blow the chaff away. You will now be left with clean seeds with little or no chaff at all.
Store the seeds in a dry, dark place away from wet conditions. Keep your seeds in this condition until it’s time to plant.
Dongliflower 60 Pcs Natural Small Pampas Grass, Dried
When to Prune Pampas Grass
Pampas grass like other ornamental grass grows fast and out of control too. You will need to prune it to keep it under control. Invest in a pair of good-quality sharp hedge shears. You will use this to shear it down to the ground. Mid-February to late March is the best season to trim your pampas grass. If the grass is going out of control, you don’t have to wait until February to trim it.
Take extra care when pruning because it has sharp foliage that can cause bad cuts and scrapes. Protect yourself by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and a pair of thick gardening gloves. For best results, prune Pampas Grass every year.
Quick Reminder – Do not ever set this grass on fire because it is highly flammable and can burn everything around it very fast.
Read more about How to Prune a Peace Lily
Where Can I Buy Pampas Grass Seed?
Generally, in areas where Pampas grass can grow in the US, and much of the world outside its native range, this grass tends to become an invasive weed. The seeds can blow miles in the wind and contaminate huge swathes of land. In this regard, although it is beautiful, it is better to generally grow safer alternatives.
You will find that in any area where pampas grass can grow, there are normally laws against the sale of the seed, or even growing the plant. In much of the US, it is currently not an illegal plant – yet. I would however caution against growing it, as once it is a banned plant, you will have to spend a lot of money to get it out of your garden. This plant is really difficult to eradicate.
In many parts of the US, Giant Wildrye is indigenous, and hence these represent a responsible alternative to pampas grass. Seeds are available here.
How Long Does Pampas Grass Take to Grow From Seed?
In my experience, they take about two weeks to germinate. This is based entirely on my attempts at removing this plant and having seen the seedlings come up in the disturbed soil left behind. Once the seeds germinate, the little plants proliferate and will reach a height of about 3-4 feet by mid-summer if they germinate in Spring. You can expect your clump of pampas grass to start making decent flower shoots in its second year.
How Long Does a Pampas Grass Seed Take to Germinate?
My experience suggests about two weeks. You can probably shorten this a bit to about 10 days if you use a heat mat. These plants are very very easy to grow and difficult to get rid of.
Where Do Pampas Grass Seeds Come From?
Pampas grass, or Cortaderia selloana, is a species of grass that comes from South America where it is particularly common in the Pampas region, after which it is named. The seeds spread great distances in the wind, and the large fluffy flower heads make it easy for the spread of seeds to occur.
Does Ornamental Grass Seed Need Stratification?
By stratification, we assume you mean mixing the seed into something such as sawdust and then allowing it to absorb water and soak in the fridge for a long time. In my general experience, Pampas grass does not need this. However, other ornamental grasses may need this and it is important to treat this on a case-by-case basis. Read the instructions from the seed provider.
How Much Does it Cost to Trim Ornamental Grasses?
If you have made the choice (in my opinion mistake) of growing Pampas grass, you will find that garden services are likely to charge you quite high rates to trim this plant. Pampas grass has very sharp leaves – when you trim the plant, you need to wear robust clothing, and even consider covering your face. If the leaves drag against your skin they tend to bite into the skin and then abrade and cut you most unpleasantly.
If you spend a few hours cutting pampas grass you will see what I mean. If you do this without wearing protective clothing you will emerge from the process covered in blood and cuts.
There is no way to estimate what it will cost to cut pampas grass in your area, as these rates will vary from area to area, and I don’t actually know where you are. However, as a garden service provider, I would charge more to cut Pampas grass than any other grass – it is just the meanest grass around.
How Do You Dry Wild Pampas Grass?
If you cut pampas grass flowers, try to do this when the stem is dry, or close to dry. You can then place these in a sunny place in a container that keeps the flower heads pointing up. They will dry out and will look quite pretty. Many people get an allergy to pampas grass, and the flower heads can bring a lot of sadness and snuffling into your house. Make sure you are not allergic to pampas grass before you invite this invasive plant into your existence.
Harvesting Grass Seeds
Your relationship with pampas grass is not fleeting; it’s a long-term commitment that should not be taken lightly. But it is well worth the effort because your yard will reflect the beauty of well-maintained grass.
Caroline is a gardener who loves to get down to the nitty–gritty of gardening. She proudly proclaims herself as a ‘dirt worshipper‘ and can often be found deep in the garden, covered in soil and singing to her plants. As a self–proclaimed ‘plant whisperer‘, Caroline believes that plants need love and attention just like any other living thing, and she loves to give them both. When she‘s not tending to her garden, you can often find her researching the latest gardening trends, or teaching others how to make their gardens thrive